The ‘New Learning’: hype or trend?

The term ‘New Learning’ has recently been cropping up everywhere. Is this simply the latest hype or a permanent trend pointing to the future of learning and development? We, at ORMIT, are convinced that what we are looking at is the future of learning and development. Our experience with ‘New Learning’ has already proved to be positive!

The new reality places new demands on learning
We are permanently connected to the world over the Internet and through social media. We are used to having direct access to information, to getting answers to our questions and to contacting our ‘friends’ wherever and whenever we want. This means that the context and the expectations of learning, both on the part of individual employees and of organisations, are changing. The New Learning concept adapts to these new requirements.

Employees expect:

  • to be able to learn as and when there is a need;
  • to have access to information at all times;
  • to be able to have direct contact with experts and trainers;
  • to be able to choose what they want to learn;
  • to receive a personal approach to the development of their talents.

Organisations expect:

  • better returns and ideally lower costs;
  • that learning can be undertaken any time and anywhere;
  • a well-organised learning process;
  • the learning curve to be apparent in daily work;
  • learning to contribute to the achievement of the organisation’s aims.

Is the ‘New Learning’ really something new?
Not all aspects of the New Learning concept are new. For example, the 70:20:10 rule has, for years, been the starting point for our development programmes. Seventy per cent of the learning is by doing and experiencing things oneself. Twenty per cent is by observing others and learning alongside them. Ten per cent is achieved from books, formal training sessions and lectures. Most learning is therefore done through practice, through challenging tasks and dealing with new experiences.

What has in fact changed is the potential offered by new technologies. This makes it possible to obtain guidance directly at crucial points in time so that matters can be resolved immediately and more efficiently. Furthermore, the latest insights into how our brains work makes it easier for us to ensure that what has been learnt is actually retained.

The ‘New Learning’: what does it require?

The ‘New Learning’ puts an employee in charge of his or her own development. This calls for personal leadership: the combination of personal insight, learning ability and the courage to act. Furthermore, the role of an employee is changing. Employees are moving from being a participant (or sometimes even a consumer) to a co-producer of a development process. There is no longer any off-the-shelf programme to be followed; the content of the development process is largely determined by the employees themselves.

Positive learning climate
The motivation to learn, and to actually put new knowledge, skills and behaviour into practice requires an organisational climate that encourages this.

A positive learning climate means an environment that:

    • Encourages learning by building on strengths;
    • Values new behaviour and results;
    • Provides honest and clear feedback;
    • Awakens certain ambitions.

The trainer is the learning supervisor
The role of the developer is switching from trainer and coach to that of a learning supervisor. The learning supervisor draws up and facilitates the learning process and takes the employee through experimentation, observation, consideration, processing of information, reflection, writing, translation and self-transfer of knowledge and experience. The individual learning objectives and current learning needs determine the time and the form of the learning process.

Would you like more information about the ‘New Learning’ concept? Our white paper, The New Learning: Tailor-made learning, tells you more about it.

Bert Bleyen

Recruitment and Training Manager at ORMIT
I like all kinds of ‘trappisten-beer’, sports, spending time with family and friends, laughing and making other laugh!

I don't like pessimism and mushrooms

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Posted in Developing Talent & Leadership, For Organisations and tagged , , , .

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